Hogs: Good For Long Beach; Bad For Lakewood (Jan. / Feb. 1950)
In late January 1950, the Lakewood Park Co. announced it had purchased 3375 acres of undeveloped land, excluding Lakewood Village for $8.800,000 to build 15,000 homes. The western boundaries were the Union Pacific tracks eastward of and parallel to Cherry Ave., on the east by an irregular line approximately half a mile west of the San Gabriel River, on the north by South St. and on the south by Carson Blvd. Apparently that irregular line contained three hog farms near the intersection of Palo Verde Rd., south of Orangethorpe Ave. (South Street), a hog farm which for a short period of time held the formation of the City Of Lakewood hogstage…rather hostage.
As the press reported it, the trouble began when “the odiferous matter came into hot discussion at a meeting of the Lakewood Taxpayers’ Assn. Chairman George Schnurle charged the farms a public nuisance and a disgrace to the community. Constant obnoxious odors are present from both the hogs and from the garbage they are fed, he claimed, adding that although 1000 signatures were signed on a petition last July, nothing was done about the hogs.”
Long Beach countered “”75 per cent of the odors from the ranch could be eliminated if the place were cleaned up.” Long Beach wasn’t overly concerned because the ranch was miles from the city boundaries and was basically Lakewood’s problem, and the City of Lakewood had yet to be founded.
Why the interest on the part of Long Beach?
Seemed the City Of Long Beach “spends $6 per ton to collect garbage but receives $1.75 per ton for refuse” of its 2500 tons of monthly garbage sent to the Saltonstall & Wright farm, which it uses to feed the porkers.
The contract, due to expire on Jan. 1, 1953, was too much for the locals, who instead got an order from the county regional planning commission, which “ordered the three hog farms located north and east of the districts abandoned by later than March I, 1951.”
Without the hogs, Long Beach would have to “seek another hog farm outlet or destroy the garbage by incineration. Establishment of a municipal grinder plant also is being considered. A sewer system would carry the waste material from this plant for disposal in the sea.”
The hogs had no comment, nor did the fish which would swim in ground-up garbage if the plan went through.